CIM Results and Review

California International Marathon


Yesterday I completed my second marathon- whoop, whoop!

I felt that my run was a great accomplishment in light of my recent move to Portland, starting a new job and having a new schedule where finding time to run has seemed so very difficult.

In addition my last 10 days of running were less than spectacular. The last 4 pre-marathon workouts just felt off, awkward and slow. Easy runs didn’t seem easy and the fast runs didn’t feel fast. I re-adjusted my expectations for the marathon, telling myself that competing and completing the marathon is a huge accomplishment by itself.

SO! Sunday morning arrived, I got up early, had my breakfast and got to the starting line with plenty of time to visit the porta-potties before the race. Porta-potty wait took approximately 35 minutes.

The morning was clear, 40 degrees and there was a slight head wind. Conditions seemed great for running. The start line was not too chaotic even with 6000 runners and some 500 relay participants. I found the 3:40 pace leader and waited for the race to begin. The gun went off, I made it over the start line and was on my way. I had decided before the race that I’d make my race management a priority. I would not let pace leaders, fast runners or the overall early morning adrenaline dictate my speed. I began conservatively; hanging near the 3:40 pace leader but not letting the gaggle of runners behind him get me in a panic.

Miles 1-4: The race started off with rolling hills. I took small walk breaks every 15 minutes for 45 seconds. This was a great strategy because I was able to regulate my pace and make sure that I wasn’t going out too fast.

Mile 5: Great friends there to cheer me on! Mike held a sign that said “Go Heather, you’re almost there!” That got a smile out of me. Ate first GU gel – vanilla bean

Mile 6: Passed my parents and main supporter group for first time – they passed me more GU and some Clif Bloks for the next refueling. At this point I was about 30 seconds ahead of the 3:40 pace leader. Still rolling hills!

Mile 7-10: I ditched the gloves early on but wanted them back as a cold head wind made for cold fingers. The rolling hills continued and I took my planned walk breaks and maintained a comfortable distance from the 3:40 pace. Still felt great.

Mile 12: Highlight: My brother appears out of nowhere, cow bell in hand, runs with me for a minute and asks, “Do you need more cowbell?” “I need more cowbell,” I replied.

Mile 13-15: Still feeling OK, my quads are beginning to complain. The hills are a bit deceptive. They aren’t big. Not any one hill is going to a break a runner, but after 13 miles of the gentle rolling hills my quads started to feel the burn. I began to think fondly of the finish line but realized I still have over 10 miles to go. Just keep running, just keep running!

Mile 15-18: I feel this is the toughest part of the race. I was sill in the teens, I wasn’t quite to 20 and I was beginning to tire. I forced myself to eat and drink at according to my schedule even if I was beginning to feel nauseous. It was a good move and I reaped the benefits during Mile 23 and beyond.

Mile 21: My support group and their sign greet me at mile 21. I am tired. I am ready to stop. “5 More Miles! 5 More Miles” I yell to them. They yell back at the top of their lungs, “You can do it! You can do it, Heather!”

Mile 21-24: People are starting to look haggard, exhausted and unhappy. Most of them have that determined, stony face. The crowd shouts, the banners wave. I continue to run. My mantra: You can do this. You can do this. I don’t have the energy or the capacity to come up with anything more creative.

Mile 25: I am going to do this! I neared the capitol. My legs are not happy but I am passing runners. I am not happy, but I am still running. I am going to do this!

Mile 25.75: I pass my parents for the last time: My dad yells “You’re going to make it!!!”

Mile 26: 200 meters has never seemed so long. Where is the finish line, damnit!??

Finish line: I am going to make it!! I hear my brother’s voice yell from somwhere, “RUNNN!!! Heather!!!!” I can’t look anywhere or do anything except zone in on the finish line and sprint – as much as I can after 26 miles – to the finish line!

 Finishing Time: 3:38

Qualified for Boston on my second marathon! 


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in California International Marathon, life, running. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to CIM Results and Review

  1. Ben Schorr says:

    Fantastic Heather! Congratulations!

  2. smchurchi says:

    What a wonderful account of a very successful race. I’m so very happy for you. Now, time to rest and recover. How do your legs feel?


  3. heatherdaniel says:

    Thanks so much! I was hoping to put in a Boston qualifying time but feared I was being too ambitious. What a great reward to all the training! Look out Boston!

  4. heatherdaniel says:

    Sandy –
    It was a great race. My legs were like jello for the first 10 minutes and then the cramps started to set in. Ouch! This morning I broke down and took some aspirin and a very very long and hot shower to reduce the aches. My quads are very very very sore!

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